"Thank God as a young boy I saw someone sticking a nail up their nose, or I would have a terrible life,'' said Apocalypse as he pulled a cigarette out of a metal Band-Aid tin. "You want to see a freak show? A guy sitting in a cubicle, staring into a computer all day, typing until he gets carpal tunnel syndrome, with a 'thank God it's Friday' coffee mug sitting on his desk. There's your freak show.''Link Discuss
From Small Times: "A pilot is already under way at a Tesco store in Cambridge, England, which is testing whether a Gillette 'smart shelf' can use RFID to foil shoplifters (Gillette has found that if someone takes more than two or three packages of razors, they're probably stealing)."People are freaked out that if more products become tagged, someone could drive by your house and gather a list of what you buy. The (current) reality though is that the RFID scanner has to be within three feet of a tag to read it. Personally, I'm more interested in the cool nano/micro-fluidic technique Gillete's RFID vendor, Alien Technology, developed to make these things on the cheap. Link Discuss
Microsoft ... settled on a data rate of 12 kilobits per second. In a given day... more than 125 megabytes can be transferred in the radio broadcasts. Microsoft ... secretly cut deals with FM radio stations around the country to lease the sub-carrier spectrum... enough coverage to hit about 80 percent of the country, and all major metropolitan areas. Microsoft found a way to personalize the watches: giving each a unique identification number. Then, as the watch is receiving the DirectBand signals, it looks only for data associated with the ID number. Hence, your watch only stores data on the sports teams you like and discards the rest. And because the watch knows which radio station it is receiving the information from, it can use that knowledge to reset itself. For instance, if you travel to Dallas, the watch will pick up signals from the Dallas radio station and reset itself for the appropriate time zone.Link Merc News Discuss
Social incentives are the most powerful forces in our world -- the reason you can't wear your underwear on your head is because of disapprobation. The most disruptive thing about the Internet is its ability to locate you in homogenous communities that embrace the same values as you, so that there's no dialectic in socail pressure: IOW, you can spend all your time in alt.underwear.on.my.head and never get the funny looks that would cause you to reconsider your fashion choices. This isn't necessarily a bad thing (except when it is, i.e., alt.big.nazi.idiots), but it is a powerfully disruptive thing.Link Discuss
Sidebar: in our second collaboration, "Flowers from Alice," we deal with uploaded "people' who can instantiate many copies of themselves in parallel. One of the interesting things about this is that it suggests that attention isn't necessarily a scarce resource -- if you need to do two things at once, you just make another copy to do it...
A TIME LINE OF COMIC STRIP CONTROVERSYLink Discuss
1900s: The Yellow Kid and the Katzenjammer Kids are cited for bad influence on youth.
1910s: In Polly and Her Pals, the "new woman" dares to show ankle.
1930s: Little Orphan Annie creator Harold Gray ridicules labor and FDR's New Deal. Dick Tracy becomes the first action strip to depict violence in America's backyard.
1940s: In Li'l Abner, Al Capp kicks against the establishment.
1950s: Pogo creator Walt Kelly lampoons Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy.
1960s: On Stage introduces a black character; several papers cancel the strip.
1970s: "How come there's no blacks in this honky outfit?" asks Lt. Flap in Beetle Bailey. Garry Trudeau brings hashish and Watergate to the funnies in Doonesbury.
Waste from resort is converted into usable water in two ways, both at a recycling plant for initial treatment, and then separately through a three-step purifying process of UV light filtration, ozonation and ultra-filtration. The final ultra-filtration step removes all suspended solids from the liquid including all biological matter, alive or dead. The resulting water is even free of viruses, bacteria and spores from cryptosporidium or giardia. The treated wastewater is then used in conjunction with meltwater and creekwater from surrounding areas to create snow.Link Discuss (via /.)
Bill Cull, the city's E-government program manager, says that because city officials were so familiar with Google, it was hard to ignore the vendor's pitch. It also didn't hurt that it was being offered a special price as a public entity. The city opted for a single Google server with a license to search an index of up to 150,000 documents. The result has been a welcome improvement for the city's 8,000 computer-equipped employees and its nearly 250,000 unique monthly site visitors: Cull says employees are using stuff they didn't know existed, and citizens are sending E-mail about the search success they're having.Link Discuss (via EvHead)
To confirm that the protein was responsible not just for regulating growth but for all activities set by the biological clock, Pin-Ju Chueh, then a microbiology graduate student in Dorothy Morre's lab, isolated the gene which produced the protein within cells. The team then cloned the protein and altered it in ways that produced different period lengths.Link Discuss (via Schism Matrix)
"We found that we could produce clocks with cycles of between 22 and 42 minutes," James Morre said. "The 'day' which the cell experienced was precisely 60 times the period length of the protein's cycle. We even found that feeding cells heavy water gave them a 27-minute cycle of growth and rest, so that old piece of information served to confirm our theory."